Popular Mechanics: Britain's First New Aircraft Carrier in Decades Is Almost Ready
The two flat tops of the Queen Elizabeth class will carry the Joint Strike Fighter.
The United Kingdom's first aircraft carrier in more than 30 years is just months from sea trials. HMS Queen Elizabeth will get the Royal Navy back into the naval aviation game after a brief absence.
Queen Elizabeth is expected to be fully operational by 2020, with her sister ship Prince of Wales following in 2023. The two ships will give the United Kingdom a powerful capability to fight at sea and attack targets under water and on the ground.
The U.K. lost its carrier aircraft capability with the retirement of the Harrier jump jet fighters in 2010 and the scrapping of its HMS Invincible-class carriers. While this was a blow to the country's ability to project power from the sea, Britain hopes two much larger carriers and a complement of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to go with them will be worth the wait.
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WNU Editor: Now it needs planes.